FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank is likely to signal in September that its 2.3 trillion euros bond-buying program would be gradually wound down next year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Financial markets overwhelmingly expect the ECB to decide in September on the future of its stimulus policy beyond the end of this year, with analysts split between those who expect a one-off reduction and a definitive tapering of the program.

ECB President Mario Draghi opened the door last month to tweaks to the bank's stimulus policy, but with the aim of maintaining, rather than tightening, the current easy financing conditions.

Central bank officials who spoke to Reuters recently have pointed to September or, at the latest, October as a likely time for a decision but stressed this depended on economic data and market conditions.


The ECB was unavailable to comment.

(Reporting By Francesco Canepa)

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